MSMR were pleased to be asked to take part in a second event in the Immortalised season by Historic England, this time a symposium at the Arnolfini Centre in Bristol. The topic for discussion centered around the representation of contested histories, difficult narratives and hidden voices in public spaces and institutions.
Beginning with a Q&A with 'Immortalised' curator Tamsin Silvey, MSMR Director, James Bell spoke about MSMR Architects' proposal which featured in the London exhibition. A panel discussion followed with James appearing alongside resident artist at the V&A Museum, Helen Wilson-Roe and members of Studio Mash, Bristol Museum and The University of Bristol. Questions posed included, 'Can contested statues be re-interpreted? What could artists and architects bring to the debate?' and 'Can cultural organisations ever be truly 'decolonised'? What can we do to interrogate the legacy of colonialism.'
An image of our Immortalised exhibit remained on the screen throughout and the symbol of the slave ship proved an emotive topic at the symposium.
Further reading on Historic England's shortlist for the Immortalised exhibition: www.historicengland.org.uk